British primatologist Dr Jane Goodall has said that humans’ ‘disregard’ for the planet and its species is what led to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
While self-isolating, the much-loved 86-year-old has been proactive as always by inspiring hope, but has also been vocal about how human involvement with animals and treatment of the environment has caused the current global health crisis.
‘It is our disregard for nature and our disrespect of the animals we should share the planet with that has caused this pandemic,’ Goodall says, according to AFP.
Goodall attributes our ‘too-close relationship with wild animals in the markets’ or for our entertainment, as the reason for the spread of zoonotic diseases. In a Facebook post, the UN Messenger of Peace ran through a list of how a number of infectious diseases originated, from wildlife in markets such as monkeys and chimpanzees or palm civets, which is how HIV and the SARS virus spread to humans, respectively.
Goodall also stressed the importance of protecting animals from human infectious diseases. We share 98.6% of the same DNA with chimpanzees, and great apes and other species may also be susceptible to the virus.
‘It was predicted that this was going to happen and it’s going to happen again until we learn the lessons,’ warned Goodall.
Her new documentary Jane Goodall: The Hope, premiered on National Geographic on Wednesday 22 April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Watch the trailer here:
Featured image: Facebook/@janegoodall